Coastal Marine Research Group of Massey University — New Zealand (2011)


The Chatham Islands region east of New Zealand may constitute an important seasonal temperate foraging ground for Pacific leatherback turtles. Despite only one documented record of a leatherback, recent interviews with local fishermen and community members have turned up at least 30 records over the past 30 years.

To further investigate the significance of this potential foraging habitat, a community-based research initiative was established with the support of a 2011 SWOT grant. The project aims to raise awareness about the plight of Pacific leatherbacks while engaging the local community to report sightings. The grant was used to produce information packs for distribution to local fishermen and the community.